LG Passes Samsung In Reputability, Tech Companies Suffer In 2019

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LG has surpassed Samsung in terms of overall company reputation taking the number 48 spot among the top 100 companies for 2019, according to the most recently reported Global RepTrak from Reputation Institute. Samsung dropped off of the top 50 ranking to take position 52 among its worldwide competitors overall. Both companies ranked higher than other mobile manufacturers, with only Sony and Google taking a higher position.

Both LG and Samsung have fallen over the past year in reputation ranking, from spot numbers 41 and 26, respectively. That doesn't represent the farthest Samsung has fallen yet. The company dropping to number 70 in 2017, following the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle of late 2016. It does show some instability in the OEM's reputation since it ranked in at number 17 for the two years prior to that issue.

Facebook is notably absent …and other trends

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The analysts did not cite a specific reason for the sudden shift in placement for Samsung and LG but Reputation Institute does define reputation and what's measured. Specifically, the research looks at seven key aspects ranging from adherence to local social values, trustworthiness, innovation, and performance to a company's leadership, workplace conditions, and products or services.

Key metrics considered alongside those items include how easily consumers recommend the business, in addition to whether individuals looking for jobs want to work for the company as well as the perception and engagement of and with current employees. Investor outlook, compatibility with regulations and policy, and figures associated with sales are considered too.

So it may not come as much of a surprise that several other companies have fallen or have fallen off the list entirely in the latest ranking. Google is noted as having suffered from issues in corporate responsibility over the past year, likely stemming from its bid to launch a China-specific search engine, military drone project, and other stumbles in 2018.

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The search giant fell in at number 14, below the top ten positions for the first time in almost ten years.

Similarly, Amazon landed below the top 50 companies at number 56 and Nokia snagged the slot at number 77 in the ranking. Conversely, Apple was positioned at number 57.

Facebook fell off of the top 100 most reputable companies entirely. That's not entirely surprising given the companies repeated security lapses and reports of falling user figures in the company's home region in contrast to growth elsewhere. The company has also faced ongoing controversy over the past year due to lapses in its policies, problems PR surrounding fake news and user manipulation amid elections, and a number of ethical issues stemming from its decision to spy on some users.

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The latter of those trends recently included the release of an application meant to track minors that Facebook attempted to pass off as a research app but bypassed app market rules and wasn't necessarily forthcoming about its purpose.

What does this mean?

The general shift in reputation for companies does not provide a roadmap of where the tech industry might head over the next 12 months but does give a clear indication of where work is needed. LG is extremely unlikely to outsell Samsung on the smartphone or technology fronts in 2019, for example, but the research indicates that Samsung seems to have more work to do in gaining consumer support.

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The general trend seems to be away from traditional social media, supporting the above-mentioned reports that users are moving to other platforms such as Instagram. Technology companies across the board will need to step up efforts in terms of transparency, privacy, and consistency in product or service quality to remain in the top 50 ranking over the next year.